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Thread: Tell me it gets easier.

  1. #26

    Default Re: Tell me it gets easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by GChris View Post
    I’ve played guitar for many years and can get by on it. I bought a ukulele a couple of years ago and made the transition pretty easily.

    I bought a mandolin yesterday. Not the same experience as the uke. The most basic chords are finger twisters, the fretboard is tiny and the neck profile is uncomfortable after 10 minutes. I’m sure mine is a common experience, I just didn’t think it would be this alien.

    If I work hard on it, how long before I’ll feel comfortable on some basic tunes? Am I better off to take some lessons now or wait until I get a few chord progressions under my belt?
    I would say it depends what you mean by "Get by on it". This may not be what you meant but if someone says to me, "I can get by on guitar", I assume they're really a singer and play guitar to back up their singing. That's because the most common use of an acoustic guitar is to back up a singer. If this is what you mean then, yes, the mandolin is more difficult. That's because the mandolin is not principally chosen for its capability to back up a singer, it's chosen for its capability to play melody. Tuned as it is, like a violin, it works very well for melody, and I'd say better than guitar (at least for traditional dance music). So playing the guitar often means backing a song, and playing the mandolin often means playing melody. The latter is more difficult (but very rewarding, maybe even more rewarding). Of course there are guitarists that play melodies extremely well on guitar, and mandolinists that play very complex accompaniments, but that's at a level that few ppl get to.

  2. #27

    Default Re: Tell me it gets easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by ampyjoe View Post
    I would say it depends what you mean by "Get by on it". This may not be what you meant but if someone says to me, "I can get by on guitar", I assume they're really a singer and play guitar to back up their singing. That's because the most common use of an acoustic guitar is to back up a singer. If this is what you mean then, yes, the mandolin is more difficult. That's because the mandolin is not principally chosen for its capability to back up a singer, it's chosen for its capability to play melody. Tuned as it is, like a violin, it works very well for melody, and I'd say better than guitar (at least for traditional dance music). So playing the guitar often means backing a song, and playing the mandolin often means playing melody. The latter is more difficult (but very rewarding, maybe even more rewarding). Of course there are guitarists that play melodies extremely well on guitar, and mandolinists that play very complex accompaniments, but that's at a level that few ppl get to.
    I don’t sing much as I suck at it. On guitar, I play mostly fingerstyle. Blues, Celtic, etc. In the 5 days I’ve had the mandolin, I’ve enjoyed picking out simple melodies, using some tab and by ear. “Si Beg, Si More”, “Red Haired Boy” and, of course, “Losing My Religion” which I suspect is the Stairway To Heaven for mandolinists. I’m hooked. I’ll get better.

  3. #28
    🎶 Play Pretty 🎶 Greg Connor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tell me it gets easier.

    Iím a long time guitar player who has stumbled onto mandolin a few years ago. I absolutely love the sound of the mandolin when accompanying guitar and other instruments. I found it easy once I learned a few scale patterns. I also found that if the mandolin is set up properly and easy to finger ... itís a beautiful world that awaits you.

    Have fun,

    Greg

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  5. #29
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tell me it gets easier.

    Come to think of it, everything of any value in my life came to me as a result of some level hard work. Seriously. And the reverse, things that have come to me too easily I often devalue.
    Life is short, play hard. Life is really really short, play really really hard.

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  7. #30
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tell me it gets easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by GChris View Post
    I don’t sing much as I suck at it. On guitar, I play mostly fingerstyle. Blues, Celtic, etc. In the 5 days I’ve had the mandolin, I’ve enjoyed picking out simple melodies, using some tab and by ear. “Si Beg, Si More”, “Red Haired Boy” and, of course, “Losing My Religion” which I suspect is the Stairway To Heaven for mandolinists. I’m hooked. I’ll get better.
    Glad your are doing better since your first post after only one day. I definitely agree to those above who recommended at least a few lessons from a good teacher. I think the neck is confusing for guitar players because the hand position is very different. Rarely would you ever play with a thumb directly behind the neck as you would on guitar.

    I am a little confused by your statement in your original post, "The most basic chords are finger twisters". I am guessing you did not try the most basic chords which usually take only one or two fingers, unless you are playing in multiple flat keys.
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  8. #31
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    Default Re: Tell me it gets easier.

    Youíll find Joe K Walsh on Peghead Nation, along with Sharon Gilchrist. Joe also teaches mando at Berklee. But as has been stated previously, face to face may result in more effective coaching.
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  10. #32

    Default Re: Tell me it gets easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Glad your are doing better since your first post after only one day. I definitely agree to those above who recommended at least a few lessons from a good teacher. I think the neck is confusing for guitar players because the hand position is very different. Rarely would you ever play with a thumb directly behind the neck as you would on guitar.

    I am a little confused by your statement in your original post, "The most basic chords are finger twisters". I am guessing you did not try the most basic chords which usually take only one or two fingers, unless you are playing in multiple flat keys.
    By basic chords I meant the most commonly used chords, e.g., D C G Am, Dm, etc. I made the finger twister remark after coming home that afternoon with the mandolin and then Googling mandolin chord charts. Shortly after that, I discovered there is an “easy” version of most chords by viewing some YouTube videos. So, yes, I’m feeling much more positive regarding my ability to make music with the mandolin. Easy chords and simple melodies first, “full” chords and more complex arrangements, in time. It’s a process.

    Regarding your comment about my posting my concerns after only one day, I had purchased an ukulele after a visit to Hawaii several years ago. It only took a few minutes to play most of my guitar songs on the uke. I’d hoped for a similar experience with the mandolin.

  11. #33

    Default Re: Tell me it gets easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Glad your are doing better since your first post after only one day. I definitely agree to those above who recommended at least a few lessons from a good teacher. I think the neck is confusing for guitar players because the hand position is very different. Rarely would you ever play with a thumb directly behind the neck as you would on guitar.

    I am a little confused by your statement in your original post, "The most basic chords are finger twisters". I am guessing you did not try the most basic chords which usually take only one or two fingers, unless you are playing in multiple flat keys.
    By basic chords I meant the most commonly used chords, e.g., D C G Am, Dm, etc. I made the finger twister remark after coming home that afternoon with the mandolin and then Googling mandolin chord charts. Shortly after that, I discovered there is an “easy” version of most chords by viewing some YouTube videos. So, yes, I’m feeling much more positive regarding my ability to make music with the mandolin. Easy chords and simple melodies first, “full” chords and more complex arrangements, in time. It’s a process.

  12. #34
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    Default Re: Tell me it gets easier.

    I have found it depends on your motivation and the time you commit to staying with it. It is possible to become fairly proficient.

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  14. #35
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tell me it gets easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by GChris View Post
    By basic chords I meant the most commonly used chords, e.g., D C G Am, Dm, etc. I made the finger twister remark after coming home that afternoon with the mandolin and then Googling mandolin chord charts. Shortly after that, I discovered there is an “easy” version of most chords by viewing some YouTube videos. So, yes, I’m feeling much more positive regarding my ability to make music with the mandolin. Easy chords and simple melodies first, “full” chords and more complex arrangements, in time. It’s a process.
    Here's a link to a chart with some easy mandolin chords - http://www.bradleylaird.com/playthem...ords-easy.html

    Yes, you are doing it the way I started out. Would also recommend a teacher, just to make sure you don't fall into bad habits.

    As others have said, it will get easier. Then it gets harder again as you realize how much you want to learn. Then it gets easier as you start that process. Enjoy playing the mandolin. Remember, the only person you need to make happy with what you do is yourself.
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  16. #36

    Default Re: Tell me it gets easier.

    Sierra Farrell has a good video on YouTube on how to start with mandolin. How to hold the pick, etc. That helped me alot. I was holding the pick up too high and wasn't holding it at the right angle. I also use a heavier pick for the mandolin. I'm just starting with mandolin after two years of playing guitar/lessons.

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  18. #37
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tell me it gets easier.

    I have courses with Sharon and Marla! Basic and Celtic! What more could a person want! Don’t answer that!
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    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

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